You can make a difference!

(Last updated December 15, 2005)

The links below contain the true stories of mothers who succeeded in enacting Family Friendly Jury Duty laws for their states.

·          Breastfeeding mother Angela Ponzini of Menlo Park, CA was called for jury duty in Dec.1999 and was denied excusal by the Courts who considered her situation a “personal inconvenience.”   Incensed about her mistreatment, Angela wrote to many legislators, including California Assemblyman Ted Lempert who responded by sponsoring a bill which would excuse breastfeeding mothers from jury duty.
The bill was enacted into law on August 31, 2000. 
Click here to read Angela’s story.

·          Barbara Anderson of Fayetteville, GA played an important role in getting her state’s law changed, benefiting at-home moms and at-home dads and most importantly, their children. 
Click here  to read Barbara’s story.

·          Mothers and More (Atlanta Chapter) met with the sponsor of Georgia HB 39 (providing a jury duty exemption for sole caregivers of children under the age of 4) During the 2000 GA General Assembly Session and instituted a letter-writing campaign for its support.  Their unified support helped bring about the bill’s passage.
Click here to read about Mothers and More (Atlanta Chapter)

·          Donna Treadwell of Springfield, IL, a full-time mother of four young children, got called for jury duty and faced a difficult dilemma: how do I fulfill my civic duties and yet care for my children at the same time?  After being denied an exemption due to valid childcare concerns, she contacted Illinois state Sen. Margaret Smith who was sympathetic to her situation.  Sen. Smith sponsored and promoted Public Act 91-0264, amending the jury act to excuse those who have the responsibility of caring for a child under 12 years of age.  It was signed into law July 23, 1999.
Click here to read Donna’s story

·          Tawni Johnson of Hillsboro, OR faced contempt charges for refusing to leave her nursing child to serve jury duty in Washington County.  Tawni braved a media circus and criticism in order to change Oregon’s law to protect the well-being of her child and the children of her state.  
Click here to read Tawni’s story.

The lesson that all these women share is that you can change the system!  You can write one letter and make a difference, and your call could very well be the impetus for positive action.  One thing is certain, if you don't get involved, you will never make a difference!  Remember, you don’t have to be a professional lobbyist to have an impact, only a concerned citizen!!

You can make a difference!

Angela’s story (California) 

Barbara’s story (Georgia)

Mothers & More Atlanta Chapter (Georgia)

Donna’s Story (Illinois)

Donna’s Story (Illinois) pg.2

Tawni’s story (Oregon)

You can make a difference

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